Dating is crazy. Almost as crazy as a woman in a bikini trying to be a clock.
Dating for me was/is an alien experience. I never really dated before I got married. Anyone I went out with was someone I had already known. No online dating. No let's hang out first in daylight so I can make sure you are not a complete psycho. I tend to attract some pretty wackadoodle people in my non-dating life already, I have no desire to push my luck. So, beginning to date felt like being plunked down into another country without a lonely planet guide, without a compass, without even traveler's checks. Do those even exist any more? I guess they do? And if we take the confusion and pain and well, confusion that is the natural outcome of a separation, even a very amicable and loving one like mine, if we could take that confused pain out of the equation, dating is still very confusing.
There is the whole game thing. To play or not to play. Some friends/siblings/cousins will counsel you to not call the person even if you are DYING to. Some will say to wait, three, no four days to call. Some will say keep emails to a maximum of 5 lines. Some will say do not be too eager. I have always loved cats but if I were a cat or a dog. I'd be a dog. I am eager. And I have trouble not showing my feelings. Trouble?? I am nearly incapable of it, unless it has to do with kids and professionalism, in which case I can hold my own. So, I don't play games. Even if I decided to wait to call or email or whatever, I would forget an hour later and oops, I have communicated. My cousin says that is a common downfall of women when it comes to dating. She claims that men, and women, want to chase. It is biological, she says. And I get that. But I suck at the letting myself be chased thing. So I don't let myself be chased. But then I worry the whole damn time that I should have.
So here is my story.
I dated this guy for several months. Was he ever my boyfriend? I don't think so. Did I want him to be? Yes. Could I talk to him about my frustrations with this? Hardly. At least not in any direct, articulate and meaningful kind of way. Because I felt like I was being neurotic or crazy or both. Because I was scared of being rejected. Because I did not know what I was doing, though people have been doing it for centuries. I wanted, in the wise words of Joni Mitchell, To knit him a sweater, write him a love letter and make him feel better. Or at least I thought I did. In the end, and after several months, the last few of which I was starting to feel slightly disappointed by him on a regular basis (not a good sign...duh), he dumped me. For an ex-girlfriend. Who he had been in love with for a year and a half. Who he was still in love with. And he did it in an email. And he did it the day after Thanksgiving, after declining to come to dinner at my house last minute.
So, for a few days I was really raw. And then we talked. And so many things made sense. And I realized it really was for the best. I have learned a few things. I should trust my gut more. I should not be afraid to put myself out there and be more vulnerable, maybe it would have ended things sooner with him. I still feel grateful to him. Aside from being the worst dumper, he was really sweet and he helped me get through a really tough time.
And there you have it.